Monthly Archives: April 2016

A remnant shall be saved

Romans 9:26-28 KJVS
[26] And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. [27] Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: [28] For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

There are several different viewpoints of when the resurrection of the body of Christ takes place. I have to admit, I steered clear of the book of Revelation after I was chastised by God and told to study to show myself approved. My reasoning was, in order to be approved and found in Christ at the first resurrection, I needed to learn what sound doctrine was in regards to being justified and sanctified by the salvation that is in Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation is largely concerned with the end of the age and is unlike the epistles and gospels in regards to doctrine, so I thought it best to put it on the shelf for a extended period of time. During the last six months or so I have read the book of Revelations four or five times and have become somewhat familiar with its content. It is a very enigmatic book full of symbolic language that covers three different time frames.

Revelation 1:19 KJVS
[19] Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

I can’t claim to be a expert on the book but after a certain degree of familiarity coupled with good understanding of the rest of the New Testament, certain doctrines regarding end times events become evident. It is surprising what a person can learn paying close attention to words. Words have specific meanings and when reading the New Testament, a person should always look at the Greek words and their definitions for better understanding in regards to text. Especially when trying to set and adhere to certain doctrines. The word remnant that is used in Ro 9:27, is a translation from a Greek word used only once in the New Testament. That fact alone seems to imply a degree of exclusiveness in its usage. The Strong’s Concordance listing of definition and usage in the NT of this word is pasted below.

Strong’s Number
G2640
Original Word
κατάλειμμα
Transliterated Word
kataleimma
Phonetic Spelling
kat-al’-ime-mah
Parts of Speech
Noun Neuter
Strong’s Definition
From G2641; a remainder that is (by implication) a few: – remnant.
Thayer’s Definition
remnant, remains
Usage by Word
remnant (1)
Usage by Book
Romans

The word remnant is used six times in the New Testament,but different Greek words are translated into the English word remnant. One of those Greek words is translated into several English words other than remnant. I think it is quite telling that this Greek word, which is used once in the NT, appears in a verse clearly referring to the children of God, the body of Christ, Ro 9:26&27. There are a couple other Greek words that are translated into the English word remnant, five other times in the New Testament, and are listed below.

Strong’s Numbers G3062, G3005 and G3007.

Now we will get to the meat of this post. In regards to eschatology and doctrines pertaining to end time events. It would benefit us to look at one of the verses the word remnant appears in the book of Revelation, translated from G3062. This verse follows the event that many say is when the rapture of the body of Christ takes place, Re 12:5.

Revelation 12:17 KJVS
[17] And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

At first glance and in conjunction with Re 12:14, one might rightly conclude that the remnant of her seed would not be resurrected until the end of the tribulation. Some might use this verse as proof for a post tribulation rapture. I am strictly confining myself with New Testament scripture for insight into this matter. It is evident to me that the body of Christ is resurrected Mid tribulation. I base this according to the following verse and short explanation that follows.

Revelation 10:7 KJVS
[7] But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

The mystery of God is Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:26&27, and that glory takes place at the seventh and last trump, 1 Co 15:43&51-52, 1 Thess 4:16&17. So it would appear there is more than one remnant and two groups of seed of the woman, the body of Christ, Ro 9:27, Gal 3:29, and another remnant of the seed of the woman mentioned in Re 12:6,14&17. The woman and by extension the remnant of her seed are taken to a place in the wilderness and are nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent, Re 12:13&14. Often times the word remnant is associated with the body of Christ, and that is still likely the case based on Galatians 3:16,29. These scriptures in Revelation bring questions to mind concerning the gathering unto the Lord, the saints of God, in the last days. Is the two remnants mentioned in Ro 9:27 and Re 12:17 both a part of the body of Christ? If so, then the mid-tribulation and post tribulation rapture doctrinal positions could both be technically correct. Are the 144,000 thousand mentioned in the seventh chapter of Revelation the same as the man child mentioned in Re 12:5? Most theologians think so, as do I. Since Rev 14:4 state they are firstfruits unto God and the Lamb. Is the literal body of Christ a subset of the promised seed, due to the fact they are the priest in the coming age? The word of God portrays the purpose of God in Jesus Christ in great detail but there are gray areas that often defy firm conclusions. I often think there are subtitle nuances in the Koine Greek that were lost in time, which the translators down through the ages fail to understand. There are only a few other verses in the New Testament that mention this woman as being the mother of these remnant seed.

Galatians 4:22-26 KJVS
[22] For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. [23] But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. [24] Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. [25] For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. [26] But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

In Isa 66:5-8, the woman is identified as Zion, Paul refers to Jerusalem above and in Ro 11:26, he states the Deliverer will come out of Sion. Mount Zion was the mount earthly Jerusalem sat on, Sion is the mount that Jerusalem above sits on. In Romans and Galatians, Paul makes inspired statements in regards who the children of God, the promise seed are.

Romans 9:8 KJVS
[8] That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

The promise seed is a individual person, Jesus Christ, and by extension those that are in him.

Galatians 3:16,29 KJVS
[16] Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. [29] And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Two other sets of verses that appear later in Revelation contain additional information pertaining to this remnant seed mentioned in Re 12:17

Revelation 13:8-10 KJVS
[8] And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. [9] If any man have an ear, let him hear. [10] He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Revelation 14:12-13 KJVS
[12] Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. [13] And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Now, clearly this remnant seed have faith in Jesus Christ and keep the commandments of God, and are going to “die in the Lord”, Re 14:13. Presumably the commandments of God they keep, is the royal law to love the Lord their God and love their neighbor as themselves. But from where I sit, it is very difficult to draw any firm conclusions regarding the remnant mentioned in Re 12:17, beyond what I have already written. I myself, will wait and see how all of this unfolds. It is clear the body of Christ will meet the Lord in the air, following the seventh and last trump. Perhaps this other remnant seed is resurrected during the resurrection of the just and unjust at the end of the age of grace, Mt 25:31-46. But when examining all the scripture verses cited and listed above, one is hard pressed in making a clear definable distinction between the body of Christ, and the remnant seed mentioned in Re 12:17.

Children of the living God

Romans 9:26 KJVS
[26] And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

There are some very important distinctions made in the New Testament in regards to the children of God. So much so, that it is often difficult to rightly divide verses that make these distinctions and derive sound doctrine from them. I guess the first order of business would be to cover what distinguishes a child of God from others that walk this earth.

Romans 9:11-16 KJVS
[11] (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) [12] It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. [13] As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. [14] What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. [15] For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. [16] So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Granted, there is a lot going on in these verses. But to make sense of these verses in light of God’s plan, a few other verses sheds light on why God operates in this manner. God’s end game is to present all men perfect in Christ, Col 1:28. All children born into this world are immature and by their very nature, slaves to the flesh. Through their life experiences and parental guidance these children achieve varying degrees of maturity. But the maturity God has in mind, greatly exceeds what man can achieve on his own and requires a hands on approach by Him.

Hebrews 12:6,11 KJVS
[6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised there by.

Read also He 5:14. So the sons and daughters he plans to mature are chosen before the world began, Eph 1:4. The definition of election in Ro 9:11
Thayer’s Definition
1. the act of picking out, choosing

To shed more light on the subject of how the elect are chosen let us look at this verse.

Ephesians 1:11 KJVS
[11] In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

The body of Christ will be joint heirs of the world along with Abraham and his seed Jesus Christ, Gal 3:29. And those who obtained this inheritance, obtained it by random chance. Definition of the Greek word translated into the English word inheritance in Eph 1:11.
Thayer’s Definition
1. to cast lots, determine by.

Since maturity/perfection has to be learned and cannot be imparted, it was necessary for God to create a learning environment. And to instill in Adam and Eve, the capacity to know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, Ge 3:22. For a more detailed examination on this train of thought you might want to read these articles.

Behold, the man is become as one of us

For the creature was made subject to vanity

Before we move on let us be clear. In order to teach maturity, godly maturity, it was necessary for God to allow a imperfect world to unfold. Individual choices made by the people in this world, result in varying degrees of good or evil. But the good can never counter balance and remove the evil in this world due to the flesh and lusts of the flesh in all the individuals that inhabit the earth. The difference between children of God and the rest of humanity is that God indwells the vessels of mercy by His Spirit, in order to teach them.

Romans 8:9,16-17,19 KJVS
[9] But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. [16] The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: [17] And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him , that we may be also glorified together. [19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Apostle Paul earlier in the 9th chapter of Romans calls these children of God vessels of mercy.

Romans 9:23-24 KJVS
[23] And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, [24] Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

These vessels of mercy are comprised of Jews and Gentiles. From this point on we will key in on the Jewish portion of the vessels of mercy. A couple chapters later in Romans, Paul reinforces the concept regarding these vessels of mercy being afore prepared unto glory, and makes a important distinction regarding the Jewish component of the body of Christ.

Romans 11:1-2 KJVS
[1] I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. [2] God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.

Verse 2 is not complete because I did not want to to sidetrack the reader from the important distinction Paul is making in this statement. The Jewish members of the vessels of mercy are those who God foreknew and predestinated to be in the body of Christ. There is a distinction made regarding Israel in the New Testament. You have Israel of the promise (seed) and Israel of the flesh.

Romans 9:6-8 KJVS
[6] Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: [7] Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. [8] That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Paul uses a allegory that makes the same distinction in Gal 4:21-26 by calling Jerusalem of his day the children of the bond woman, because they are in bondage to the law. Interestingly enough the mother of the children of promise, is Jerusalem above, the mother of the free in verse 26. This allegory was hard for me to come to grips with at first because those that received the law at Mount Sinai are usually presented in the media and in most Christian churches as God’s chosen people. But it is important to realize that the children of promise lived side by side with Israel of the flesh throughout the Old Testament and there are a few scripture verses that reflect this.

Romans 9:10-13 KJVS
[10] And not only this ; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; [11] (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) [12] It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. [13] As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

John 8:42-44 KJVS
[42] Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. [43] Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. [44] Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The reason the Pharisees could not hear him because they were not his sheep, not the children of God. This next verse really highlights the difference between Israel of the promise and Israel of the flesh.

Romans 11:3-5 KJVS
[3] Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. [4] But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. [5] Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

See also He 3:15-19. The rest, or day of rest that is mentioned in these verses is the seventh day or the thousand year Kingdom of God, He 4:4, Rev 20:6. The Greek word translated into the English word remnant in Ro 11:5, only appears this one time in the New Testament. Isaiah, being a prophet, was of the promise seed, which of course is Jesus Christ, Gal 3:16&29. It is always important to remember that God’s promise was to Abraham his seed, singular, who is Jesus Christ and those in him, Gal 3:16&29. Paul in another set of verses identifies who and what a Jew is.

Romans 2:28-29 KJVS
[28] For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: [29] But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Apostle Peter at the Jerusalem council also makes a statement about the heart, Acts 15:9. Those of you who believe there is a gospel for Jewish believers in Christ and the gospel of grace for the Gentile believers in Christ, should read Acts 15:8-11. Especially verse 11.

Acts 15:11 KJVS
[11] But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

Now who was the we that Peter was referring to? Well it was a council that took place in Jerusalem, so those attending were Jewish. But rest assured God will save Israel of the flesh when the Deliverer comes out of Sion.

Romans 11:25-26,28 KJVS
[25] For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. [26] And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: [28] As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

One other distinction made regarding the children of God, the promise seed, is made in the 11th chapter of Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:39-40 KJVS
[39] And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: [40] God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

The precise meaning of these two verses has eluded me for years. But a fresh look at something, can often reveal fresh insight. Verse 39 points out that the Old Testament Saints received not the promise. I have often wondered if the mystery of God, Christ in you the hope of glory, Col 1:27, was retroactive and in play within the Saints of the Old Testament? Since the Holy Ghost was and is instrumental in justification and sanctification, are the OT Saints perfected? The word promise in verse 40 may in fact answer that question. The word promise also has its distinctions. Paul makes one in Galatians.

Galatians 3:13-14 KJVS
[13] Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: [14] That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The blessings of Abraham are that those in the body of Jesus Christ, are turned away from there iniquities, Acts 3:25&26. Largely by and through the agency of the Holy Ghost, who is working from the inside and on the outside of us perfecting us through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost and God chastising His sons and daughters. If you have not the Spirit of Christ, you are none of his, Ro 8:9. But the word promise can also be looked at in the larger, final sense, He 9:15. So in He 11:39, what promise is this verse referring to? Verse 40 states that God had provided some better thing for us. Was that some better thing, the baptism of the Holy Ghost? Not enough information in that verse to make a determination. But a couple other verses may help in making a determination.

1 Peter 1:10-12 KJVS
[10] Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: [11] Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. [12] Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Verse 10&12 might suggest that the Old Testament Prophets did not partake of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of Christ that was in the Old Testament prophets was the Pre incarnate Word of God who spoke through the prophets. Jesus makes this statement in the gospel of John that is related to the question at hand, at least in my mind.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

There are gray areas in scriptures that don’t answers all the questions that arise. Since Jesus said that they may be made perfect in one, which obviously points to the future mystery of God at work in a believers life. Where does that leave the Old Testament Saints? I hesitate to come to a firm conclusion in this matter regarding the Old Testament Saints and their perfection. Feel free to comment if you know of any verses that give additional information.